Navigation Center Sit |6494 Caballero Blvd. | Buena Park | CA 90620
Contact Information: (714) 410-4060
Front Desk - ext. 280
Call Center - ext. 281
Site Lead Desk - ext. 282
Manager - ext. 168
Have you seen or know of someone in need?
City Net Homeless Services
Buena Park Police (Non-emergency): (714) 562-3901
The North Orange County Service Planning Area (North SPA) received $12,062,300 in Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP) funding to open a Navigation Center in Buena Park and Placentia. The Buena Park site, or "Navigation Center", opened July 2020 at 6494 Caballero Blvd. You can read monthly reports highlighting the Bright Paths Program's impact on those experiencing homelessness in our community.
Mayor Connor Traut highlights the Navigation Center
1. What is the Buena Park Navigation Center?
The Buena Park Navigation Center ("Center") is a temporary homeless shelter facility at 6494 Caballero Boulevard. The City has owned the site for over 40 years. The 2.14-acre site had a municipal water well towards the back, and storage and a fire training tower towards the front. An approximate 15,000-sq. ft. portion towards the front of the site is now transformed into the Center, offering 149 beds in addition to offices, classroom, medical, outdoor and meeting spaces. The facility serves as transitional housing for those living on the streets in Buena Park and provides a stable setting with healthcare and other services. The long-term goal is to provide clients with the resources they need to permanently transition off the streets.
2. Why do we need a Navigation Center?
The Center is one of two new facilities serving the North Orange County Service Planning Area ("North SPA"). The North SPA is comprised of the cities of Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Cypress, Fullerton, La Habra, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Orange, Placentia, Villa Park, Stanton and Yorba Linda.
By identifying these two new centers, the City of Buena Park and the North SPA cities will comply with the federal mandate of the Honorable David O. Carter, United States District Court Judge, resolving what is known as the Orange County Catholic Worker lawsuit, which carried the risk of cities losing the ability to enforce against anti-camping laws, if additional shelters or alternative housing were not provided.
The Center, along with the site in Placentia and two sites in Anaheim, addresses a comprehensive regional solution in north Orange County to provide support to homeless neighbors, including wrap-around services. It also addresses the growing impacts of homelessness on city parks, streets, and neighborhoods by ensuring that anti-camping laws can be enforced.
3. How is the Center funded?
In November 2018, the North SPA was awarded $12,062,300 in Homeless Emergency Aid Program (“HEAP”) funds from the State of California via the Orange County Continuum of Care Board. This funding was designed to provide direct assistance to cities and counties to address homelessness. The Center was funded with $6,412,300 of the HEAP grant funds, as well as additional funding from the participating North SPA cities, the County of Orange, low-moderate housing funds, and other grant funds.
4. Is there a guaranteed revenue stream and staffing plan included in the MOUs (Memorandum of Understanding)?
With respect to funding, Buena Park, and the other participating North SPA cities, contributed to the construction of the site as well as ongoing operating costs. Funding sources from the cities include Senate Bill 2 (SB-2), the County of Orange, CARES Act, low-mod housing funds, and General Fund monies, as needed. The formula for each city’s allocation is memorialized in the North SPA Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”), and will be applied throughout the term of the MOU.
5. What oversight is there for how the funds are spent?
Funding and expenditures will be subject to several layers of oversight. The SB-2 funds and funds contributed by the County of Orange will be subject to grant reporting, reconciliation, and auditing from outside agencies. Funds contributed by individual cities will be approved by their respective city councils as part of their annual budget process, and the City Managers of the North SPA cities must approve revisions to the program budget. Moreover, all revenues and expenditures of the program will be subject to an annual audit prepared by a licensed professional in accordance with government auditing standards.
6. Who can use the shelter?
The beds at this location are designated for North SPA cities only, but "host cities" (including Buena Park) have priority. The Center will only receive clients on a referral-basis; walk-ins are not permitted.
7. Who manages the Center?
Mercy House was selected as the operator of this facility.
8. How will individuals with mental health concerns be treated?
The County of Orange offers a system of care for these individuals and those with mental health issues will be linked to those resources.
9. Will volunteers be allowed at the shelter?
The City retains Mercy House as the operator to run the shelter, please reach out to their staff to determine the need for volunteers.
11. If the shelter is full and running at capacity, are the police still able to enforce the anti-camping laws?
Yes, if the proposed Buena Park shelter is at capacity, the police will locate a bed available in another North SPA shelter for that individual.
12. How are individuals referred to a shelter? Who is eligible?
Referrals to the shelter are typically made by the City's homeless outreach workers or Police Department liaison officers.
13.Who provides oversight of the facility?
Along with the City and North SPA, the Buena Park Navigation Advisory Committee oversees the facility and its management. The Committee consists of eight members of the community, including those who live in, work in, or do business within the City. This Committee receives reports on various issues happening at the facility and reviews ongoing statistics from the operator.